Okay, some time ago I posted pics of my Washer Chainmaille Bracelet:
So now I have written a tutorial so you can make your own if you want!
Before you begin, please note that while you can use any size washer you wish [though I don't recommend the really huge heavy ones!], be sure to buy enough washers for your ENTIRE bracelet or whatever at one time, of the same brand and size. This is because I've noticed that there are minor variations in washers, despite standarization; and metric washers are not EXACTLY perfectly matchable with non-metric ones. So it's just easier to buy them all at once.
My original bracelet was made of 1" [inside diameter] [1.5" outside diameter] washers with 8 mm jump rings. It took about 30 washers for the bracelet, because of how they overlap. Washers are cheap, so estimate high. My original bracelet had a lobster claw clasp, but if I did it again, I would use a toggle clasp, because it would have been easier to put it on.
I use bigger washers and bigger fancier jumprings in the tut so you can see things better.
Okay, onto the tutorial!!!
1) Items needed: Washers, jumprings, clasp [toggle-style recommended], two pair of needle or chain nose pliers [to open and close jump rings]
2) Now, take a look at your washers. You will notice that washers are, generally, different between the two sides. One side is round and shiny, and the other is flat and somewhat matte [non-shiny]:
It's kind of hard to see it in my poor photo, but if you lay a few out, you'll get the idea. It doesn't matter which side you decide is up/down, front/back, top/bottom, whatever, just make sure that all of your washers end up with the same side 'up' [or whatever] as you make your chain.
For this tut, I will use 'top' for the shiny side, and 'bottom' for the matte side.
3) Lay one washer on top of another, both with their tops up [so that the bottom of one touches the top of the other...]
4) Keeping these two washers together like that as you pick them up, thread two jumprings around both of them.
5) Push the jumprings apart - one to each 'side' and gently pull the washers opposite directions.
You should end up with the beginnings of a chain that looks like the bottom photo.
6) Now, lay the next washer - again, with both tops 'up' - onto the washer that had been the upper one in the first pair:
7) Thread two jumprings through this new 'pair', making sure not to hook the first washer as well - just the last two!
8 ) Push the new pair of jumprings apart - one to each side and gently pull apart the last two washers like you did the first pair. You should end up with something like this:
9) Repeat steps 6-8 until your chain of washers is long enough for a bracelet. [Again, it took me about 30 US-dime-sized washers - see picture below for a good look at them compared to a penny]. Using jumprings, attach your clasp to the ends of the chain.
There you go, your own Washer Chainmaille Bracelet. Here is a close up of my original bracelet showing the weave with smaller washers and regular jumprings:
Now, sometimes while you are chaining, the first or last link will get 'flipped'. Don't panic. Before you add the clasp [or the next washer in the chain], you just need to flip it back. These pictures are for the 'first' washer being flipped, but the principal is the same even if it's the 'last' link that flipped.
a) Whoops, this first link has gotten 'flipped' [though it's hard to tell the difference in shiny and matte sides in this terrible blurry photo]
b) To flip it back, after laying it on a flat surface, grasp the sides of the offending link and push it 'in' towards the other links so that one end raises up off the surface:
c) Keep pushing so that the end still on the table goes under the one you pushed up and the washer 'flips' back to it's 'proper' side up:
d) Take the jumprings and push them back out towards the sides, and gently pull the washers in opposite directions and viola! - everything is back to normal.
Hope that covers everything. Any questions?